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Way Taylor County voters vote could soon dramatically change

By George Levesque, Managing Editor/Anchor, glevesque@ktxs.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 07:31:00 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 18 2014 12:24:25 PM CDT
Voting

Bob Crowley/CNN

ABILENE, Texas -

If the county has its way, the November midterm election will be very different than past elections.

For as long as anyone can remember, to vote you looked at your voter registration card, found your precinct number, and then looked up your polling place.

That's not how you'll vote anymore if the Texas Attorney General's Office approves the Taylor County plan.  Precinct numbers wouldn't make a difference as to where you vote...you could choose to vote at any polling location.

Ease of use may help with voter turnout. Speed may help too.

No longer would election workers manually check for your name, now they'd do a quick computer search...like they do during early voting.

And gone would be the days of driving to your voting booth only to discover you were at the wrong one.

“What that's going to do is make more voting locations available and eliminate a lot of confusion that can be there,” Taylor County Commissioner Chuck Statler said.

Beginning in November, there will be 23 – instead of 34 – polling locations if the plan is approved by the state.  Several other Texas counties have gone to countywide voting, too.

Polling locations, if the plan is approved, will be staffed with people who can operate laptop computers instead of the paper and sticker method Taylor County currently uses.

There is an initial cost to this: Dozens of new laptops would have to be purchased.  However, this would actually save money with a smaller staff working 11 fewer locations.